Programming / Reason / Emotion
(Top Posts - Philosophy (General) - 050102)

The programming tasks done by persons employed in the
computer programming profession are done based on reason,
with emotion subservient, rather than emotion, with reason
subservient. Emotions have underlying reasons, physical in
nature, not existing apart from the mind-body, but instead, a
consequence of genes + stimuli + random brain activity.

Computer programming is a task based on reason (like math,
1+1=2 no matter how you feel about it), not really impacted
as to its functionality by the way one feels about the task one
is performing when one programs. The program either works
or it doesn't, it either mates to reason or it's dysfunctional.

In determining primary causes of actions on the part of humans,
a
nother way of looking at it, if you have a pet, observe the pet
and ponder the whys and wherefores of its activity compared
to your own.

I have a cat. If I make a loud noise, the cat responds to it.
However, with no stimuli whatsoever, the cat "decides" to do
things such as bite a ball and bring it to me, to play. I did not
teach it to do that. I throw the little ball and it often "decides"
to chase it, get it, and bring it back to me. Sometimes, it
"decides" not to.

I can't help but wonder how different am I from my cat, when
I "decide" to do things, on a basic physical level. It has been
demonstrated that there is a random factor involved in decision-
making, and every decision my cat makes can be described and
understood by a simple analysis of all the extremely complex
factors at play within the construct of the cat's body combined
with that random factor which yields a degree of unpredictability
in the cat's behavior.

For humans, same deal, it's just that folks are unsettled by the
notion that their actions, while extremely difficult to pin down,
are the result of no more than genes + stimuli + random activity
of the brain.

Now, decision-time, do I spell-check, add a sig and then spell-
check, skip spell-check, pay attention while spell-checking,
change the channel on my TiVo (cool device), get some more
coffee, check on my cat, call my daughter, take same pain medi-
cation for my headache, read a web site, ... etc ... etc ... etc ...

And, on a subconscious level, instructions are taking place
throughout our bodies constantly, heart beats, breathing, diges-
tion, battling invaders, repairing cells, ... etc ... etc ... etc ...

An amazing amount of information processing is going on con-
stantly in each of us. We are not all that interested in focusing
on the panoply of decisions available to us, at any moment,
unless we bother to, but most often we flow from moment to
moment allowing all the decisions to take place without thinking
about them too much.

When observing behavior, we often say he/she "decided" to do
that, but really, a more accurate and sophisticated way of looking
at it would be that he/she, based on genetic information he/she
inherited from a multi-billion year process of evolution, based on
all the stimuli he/she had been exposed to, based on the environ-
ment in which he/she had been placed, based on random activity
within his/her brain, acted in a manner that was inalterable with-
out some alteration in the aforementioned factors.

In other words, every moment, every action, every thought, the
very typing of these words, is a result, a consequence, a part of
a vast continuum of activity which is, on an absolute level, inalter-
able, for we, like our pets, like the bacteria and viruses and para-
sites in our bodies, are a result of a naturalistic world in which
every outcome is a moment in time which, once passed, can be
totally understood as inevitable, and which, not yet here, can only
be predicted based on laws of probability and random chance.

Hence, the illusion of control when, really, there is none no matter
how much we wish there was (pauses ... goes through decision
analysis tree, decides to ________ ... realizes that the "decision",
once made, was inevitable based on all aforementioned factors
and is, due to physical law, inalterable) ...

Sig follows:

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Why did I use dashes? Sometimes I do, sometimes
I don't, as to why, that's merely a wrapping put
around an inevitable event that, in 20/20 hindsight
can be assigned a qualifier but, point in fact, the
qualifier is a mere after-the-fact explanation, a mere
fraction of explanation of the multitudinous reasons
(see above) for the inevitable event which occurred.

If your wife, partner, friend, or family member ques-
tions your behavior, try going into the multi-billion
year and random activity explanation above, and see
how far it gets you - probably, not very far, as that
requires too much thinking and folks prefer to live
in a world of illusion, pretending we "control" our
fates when, point in fact, the above is the accurate
description for all activity, in all places, by all matter ...

... At all times (well, at least within the realm of physics
we can understand, to now) ...

... By the way, I added this last paragraph after spell-
checking as a last second update - why did I do that?

See above, and perhaps consider that "I" did not do
that, in actuality "I" would not have done any of this
without the preceding post to which "I" am responding.

The preceding post would not have been written without
the post before that, and so on and so forth ... etc ...

... such is each moment of existence - each "decision" ...
a complex culmination of a vast array ... a continuum ...
a result of "We", with "We" including everything that ever
was ... all based on the reasons detailed, physical realities,
with emotions understandable as a consequence, a mani-
festation of a natural world of cause-effect, of genes +
stimuli + random brain activity
.
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